Returning from a four year hiatus, Team Redwood decided it was time to “have another go” and face the 12 hour teams race demons once again.
Now there’s four of us – Keighley, myself, Emily (3 years old) and Charlie (1 year old) and with Naseby forest just up the road we talked the Browns into joining us on their Satan’s Cruisers.
MarkyMarc from Dunners was also on the roster in between feeding his girly Hannah who was doing her 1st 12hours solo….
Charlie woke at 5am, so I made him watch 24-solo as a pick me up for the coming 48 hours…
Friday afternoon we departed Wanaka, set up camp with Henderson Cycles from Alexandra in the sponsors area and enjoyed the hospitality of Cameron’s dad – Jeff who bought his work trailer fully decked out with bbq, toaster, jug, booze, tunes, work bench, vice – everything basically – this man is organized.
Off to Ranfurly for tea and our luxurious cabin for the night – oops I mean Stalig 13.
Mate, it was sparse. 4m x 4m. double bed and a single bunk on top. A little fan heater. That was it. No wonder it was cheap.
Kids wouldn’t have a bar of the porter cot / single bunk. So it was 4 of us in the double bed and the little one said roll over, roll over and Mum said this sucks and Dad said this sucks and then morning arrived and the kids were ok and Mum and Dad were pretty bloody average really.
Hardly the sort of start that Craig Gordon would have had is it ???
So, off to race I mean event village – dropped everything off at tent, parked truck in a great spot just outside gate – can’t believe no-one else had grabbed that spot.
Our tent was brimming with talent and scuffers alike.
Coffee van right next door.
Commanding views of start finish straight.
Sorted, we are.
Race briefing I normally shun, but it was over the PA. so there you have it – I was there.
Le Mans start I do not do at all. So I walked. All around the whole camp ground/pit area.
Got my bike and went the wrong way, because there was no one else to follow.
Bugger. I overheard someone say “short lap for him” and knew something wasn’t right, so ducked under the tape and headed off in the right direction.
Lovely course; Naseby and I have not had a strong love affair in the past – felt like all the tracks were backwards.
Not on race day because the course flowed like an oil tanker spewing its' precious load all over a barren coast.
Passed about twenty punters, not because of my rippling muscled legs, but because they were punters and I am a seasoned veteran and was sure I could bluff a 12 hour in my sleep.
Pulled into our tent ready to hand over the mantle to my team mate; Leighton who was not ready. Not by a long shot. Not even. So the twenty people passed us back again. Not what Craig Gordon would have done. No no.
Anyways, we were under way and the laps dropped like flys. Pauline was out, then Keighley.
I changed my back tire with the help of Emily.
Then Mark who in a total bowt of over achieving enthusiasm declared he was doing two laps back to back. WTF I thought and said yeah sure what ever.
He gave me instructions on when Hannah would be in, what she would need and what to do in case of emergency – jelly snakes apparently. And then he was gone.
So I’m looking after the kids and Hannah. Great.
Hannah roars in – I ditch a kid and say what do you need – “water” – so I change bottles and push her off up the gentle hill and she says I want something savory next lap.
WTF ? Savory – what is savory ? Pizza ? Bacon and egg pie ? Sausage rolls ?? Savory I say !! Holy crap.
Think man, Mark gave you 400 instructions, somewhere in my brain was the trigger I was looking for and on the ground in a pile was 10 red R & R Sport bags and in there was something savory – I didn’t care whose bags I was rummaging in, the women said savory and that’s what she would have.
I found some cheese sticks and decided that was it.
Now how to hand them over ? Greasy little suckers they are and I wouldn’t fancy them jiggling around in my back pocket….over to coffee guy to procure an empty paper cup. Stuff it full of cheese sticks and instruct other team mates to stick in Hannah’s back pocket, right hand side, just like in 24-Solo – that’s how Chris Eatough does it.
And then took off for my next lap which was great as I now knew which direction the course went.
I rode around, passed some people, some people passed me.
The bike (Karate Monkey 29er) was going great guns. I sucked. Felt like my cranks were made of glass. I cursed Leighton for telling me how much better it would be if I slid my cleats back on my shoes, ‘cause that’s what Gaby and Dodzy do, so you can float through the rough.
I bet Craig Gordon doesn’t have his cleats in the wrong place, but I digress. I’d made the decision and that was that.
I could have ridden in jandels and not improved any.
Back to the pits – excellent changeover – Leighton was there and ready, except apparently there was a red snap wrist band that you had to wear and it was in the red bag and, and , and “just get out there mate, don’t worry about it – the timing is manual” So off he went. Phew.
Hannah thought the cheese sticks in the cup was really cool.
And Mark got slower on his 2nd lap, so that proved my theory, but he has since come up with a raft of excuses…..
The weather was warming up and looking promising. The kids weren’t blue any more and Charlie was in full swing bludging food off anyone he could.
Emily amused herself on the playground, reading stories and hanging out on the couches.
Camp radio was also not bad – 1st 12 hour I’ve been to that played Hunters & Collectors – bonus.
Normally it’s Murray FM and man does that guy have bad taste in music.
Whilst waiting for my next lap, I took in my surroundings – a man ran past with a bike over his shoulder sans wheels; rules say you must finish your lap with your bike. I guess he did.
An Asian man wearing pink bunny ears, tutu and masquerade mask roared up on his Salsa La Cruz cyclo cross bike (fully rigid and singlespeed), stuffed a can of creamed rice down his gob and took off again.
Apparently he is a PHD honors student, so you’d think he would know better, I’ve since discovered Mickey has quite a following and his reputation precedes him – Bushloveracing fears him so I’m reliably informed.
The NZ 24 hour solo champ; Tony Hogg was well on his way to completely smashing the field in the dog all day and in doing so, completing 24 x 10 km laps. Very slick. His wife was running the one man pit crew and had it completly dialled; radios with earpiece and microphone for them both meant there was no guess work or chance of missing out on that mochacino at 7.30 pm........
Fair to say there was no pizzas or beer mid race for that boy...
So the day unfolded in a similar fashion and I called it a day about 6pm. I’d just gone out with my lights fully charged just in case someone threw a switch and I was enveloped in darkness in the 30 minutes it took to do a lap.
I did try and turn the lights on for the last stretch of single-track, but a connector had been bumped off so that was that. Wing it.
Markymarc knocked out two more laps in the dark, Leighton, Pauline and Keighley all did 3 laps each and we all had tea, coffee and desert to finish of a lovely day.
So, just a great nights sleep with the kids in the bottom bunk again – Keighley called enough and got the top bunk and then it was morning again.
Peanut butter sandwiches for breakfast back at Naseby while packing up tents and chairs and then off home to unpack, put away, clean and have the neighbours over for a farewell dinner as they are moving round the corner.
Would we do it again ? Yep.
Have we been doing these events for something like 12 years ? Yep.
Was this the best one yet ? I think so -
Low key, great course, well organised, good tunes, lucky with the weather - last year it snowed and even with the nippers going ape all day we survived.
Pictures are here Results are here We are called Albert town Banjo racks, under mixed teams.